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Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

"It's a little bit hard to work out without knowing the altitude of that dragon..."

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US VC: Mario and Ecco sequels

Plus: TG scrolling shooter. Shock.

If you deliberately set out to hurt our friends at Nintendo Europe by buying a SUPER ILLEGAL American Nintendo Wii instead of getting one from down the normal shops, then you can today avail yourself of Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES), Ecco: The Tides of Time (Megadrive) and Dragon Spirit (TurboGrafx-16).

SMB2 is already out on the European VC, which is obviously why it got top billing in our 25th May Virtual Console Roundup. Originally adapted from a non-Mario game, it struggles not to feel a bit alien after the precision platforming of SMB1 (and indeed of the later Marios), but that's not to say it's crap. Far from it. Well, at least a few points from it - we gave it 7/10. It costs 500 Wii points.

Ecco: The Tides of Time and Dragon Spirit, meanwhile, have yet to dangle their collective fins/scales in front of us over here. The former's the sequel to Ecco the Dolphin, amazingly, and costs 800 Wii points, while the latter's - you guessed it - a scrolling shooter that costs 600.

The burning question, of course, is will they be this week's European additions when the clock ticks round into Friday? It's a question we don't have an answer for, because Nintendo always tells us at the last minute. Not that we'd tell you anyway.